trying really hard not to sound stupid

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by fundamentalman, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. fundamentalman

    fundamentalman New Member

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    Well I have to say that you folks have been more than helpful with the questions that I have asked. Thank you. :) But I have another question that I am trying hard not to make your eyes roll back :rolleyes: with what seems like it should be rather obvious. I am trying to construct two sections of track one a circle, 19 or 20 inches, and the other a oval that is about (or just under 24"X36" - I would like my display to be on a 24"X36" board). Now as I shop for track, I see "17 1/2 full curve (6)" Does this mean that with all 6 pieces it will total 17 1/2" inches and be a full curve - ie 90 degrees (or is a full curve 180)? I suspect that it is 90 degrees so therefore to make a circle I will need four packs of these 6 pieces to make a circle 35"? Am I heading anywhere near the right direction? How do I know what track to buy?
  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    You will need 2 packs of 6 to make a complete circle.

    The type of track you want depends on how much realism you want. If you want the prototype look with brown ties then you will want CODE 55 and if you don't care about it, go with CODE 100 which has black ties.

    Does that help any?
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Hiya fun,
    Atlas #2022 is a 22.5 degree Code 55 curved section with 17.5" radius. Although they're
    sold in packs of six, it takes eight pieces to make a 180 degree turn, and sixteen pieces
    to make a full 360 degree circle. (16 x 22.5 = 360) The full circle will have a diameter of
    35" (measured at the centerline of the track, will barely fit on a 3' bench, with the ties
    3/16" from the edge, probably not recommended :D )
    I have no idea why Atlas sells 'em this way, but if you buy 3 packs of 6, ya got two pieces left over to play with. :) :)
  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Guess I was wrong, Thanks for correcting me Cid:thumb: :thumb:
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    :D Hey, no sweat, Josh. I didn't really know, so I looked at the piece on RTS, and
    sure enuf, it took 8 to make a half circle. I would have thought they sold them
    in even 90's or 180's, but I guess not! :thumb:

    And fundament, don't worry about sounding stupid!! Remember how
    far Forrest got!! :D :D :D
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I bet that a pack of 6 curves plus 2 switches makes a passing siding across the end of an oval. That's probably the first expansion on a train set.
    What, you don't have the track from a train set? :cry:

    Full curve is an arbitrary designation but you will also find half curves and third curves and ... I think they picked an arbitrary maximum length to fit in the packets. You'll find that larger radius curves will take even more "full curves" to make a circle.
  7. fundamentalman

    fundamentalman New Member

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    I can't tell you how many ah-has I got reading this. Wow, I now know enough to buy track! Is there a tutorial somewhere I am supposed to be reading that answers all these questions that I have been having?
  8. fundamentalman

    fundamentalman New Member

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    Well, almost. I went looking at track and noticed that not all give the degrees so I can't do the math. For example, I noticed one listed as "One N Scale Code 55 11.25" Radius Full Curve". I understand the full vs half circle but will ALL full circles require 16 pieces of track to make a circle, and in this case the circle would be 22.5"?
  9. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    I believe that's correct, fun. On Atlas' website they're listed as "full sections" instead of
    "full curves", and "half sections" instead of "half curves". They're called "curves" on
    the packages and in RTS. Each full section or "curve" is 22.5 degrees regardless of the
    radius (up to 21.25" radius, it's different above that as David mentioned.) This also means
    that you can use one larger radius section to transition smoothly from a straight into a smaller
    radius curve, more prototypical. And then there's flextrack!!!
  10. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    Of course just to make things more confusing you could also use flextrack and make a radius and use easements etc :D
    But you seem to be on the right 'track' for now LOL [oh I kill me] :)

    Anyhow, no such thing as a dumb question because we ALL started someplace. No one is born with this info, well ALL had to ask, or see it or read it OK?

    So go ahead and ask away. :)
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Not a dumb question ; just dumb labelling.